The Vancouver Whitecaps season has been over for a while, but don’t tell that to the players, they have developed a no quit attitude and will play until the final whistle blows.
The final game of the season is Sunday against the Real Salt Lake at BC Place.
"We are all professionals at the end of the day, we all want to win. There is a question of pride if there are points up for grabs and yes we are out of the playoffs...I want those points definitely," said goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau.
Crepeau was one of six Canadians that coach Marc Dos Santos fielded against the LA Galaxy last Saturday. An impressive outcome for the last place Whitecaps, with three Canadians scoring in a first for an MLS game. It was a victory on the road against a team that came into the contest with a three game winning streak. Whitecaps centre-back Doneil Henry started the scoring for the Canadians early in the match.
"I'm excited and proud to be a part of history in the league for three Canadians to score," he said.
Just before the half, 20-year-old Theo Bair chipped in a loose ball to give the Caps the lead again. After the Galaxy tied the game, Tosaint Ricketts tallied with a header to give the Caps the lead again and set a record for Canadian goals in a match.
"Anyone that knows me knows I'm a loyal Canadian. For Theo and Doniel to get those goals and to set that record means everything to me. I'm always pushing for the success of Canadians and the whole infrastructure around Canada and I'm very happy," said Ricketts.
There is sudden emergence of Canadian talent on his club and Dos Santos explained the lineup is built with the best players available to him right now regardless of their nationality.
"I play the players that are the best options right now for the team regardless of the flag. It happens that the flag a lot is Canadian right now but that could change. I want to be fair," he said.
"I'm at peace as a Canadian coach with what I've done for Canadian players in my career, so I can't do much more, they're getting opportunities, they're playing."
The Caps are hoping this late season push will help develop the club for next season. Dos Santos says there is level of professionalism and a level of commitment from his team. They don’t want to look like they have given up and that’s a positive note into next season.
Sunday’s match is called “Fan Appreciation Day” by the club. The organization knows that this disappointing season has left a bitter taste with local supporters and want to end on a high note. Veteran player Tosaint Ricketts knows the importance of keeping the fans interested in the game and says his team will play hard until the end.
"We are not only doing it for us, we are doing it for the fans that have supported us all season. And we are doing it for the staff that has put in all the work all year and helped us out," said Rickettes.
"We want to go out there and not only put on a performance for ourselves as a group, but also for the fans and everyone in Vancouver that supports us."
Henry echoes Rickettes thoughts.
"When we play Salt Lake we want to leave it all out there, so they actually feel something to excite them for next season I know it’s been tough and I ask them to continue to support us," said Henry.
Kickoff against Real Salt Lake is on Sunday at 1 p.m. at BC Place.